Eat more, weigh less – that’s a common mantra at Atkins and it’s amazing how many people ask me if it’s normal for cravings, and preoccupation with food, to disappear after a week or 2 on Phase one. The answer is a resounding ‘yes’ as blood sugar levels stabilise and so you don’t get the dips & highs which cause cravings. Plus eating regularly all day increases your metabolism and can prevent cravings that often lead to overeating.
However the types of foods you eat can also have a dramatic effect on the shape of your body so I came up with some of my favourite foods that can aid in your weight loss.
Packed with complete protein, eggs contain all the essential amino acids. The quality protein found in eggs can help get you lean by assisting in rebuilding & repairing the damage done through exercise. This, in turn, helps to increase your metabolism. Studies have proven that eating eggs for breakfast can prevent over-eating later in the day: due to the generous protein and healthy fat content they have a high satiety factor. Eggs are also packed with carotenoids and are therefore great for your eyesight (due to high lutein content), your hair (due to high sulphur + B12 content) and have even been linked to a lowered risk of breast cancer if you regularly consume them!
Meal suggestion – 2 egg omelette with grated cheese, chopped red pepper & chopped mushrooms. A perfect breakfast which combines protein + healthy fat + complex carbs!
This fatty fish is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids – often referred to as ‘fat burning fats’. Omega-3 fats increase your metabolic rate so that you burn more calories overall. This tasty fish is packed with protein too so provides many aminos your body needs and is more filling than regular fish. Wild-caught cold water fish, like salmon, are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than warm-water fish and lower in contaminants than farmed salmon. In addition to being an excellent source of omega-3s, salmon is an excellent source of selenium, niacin and vitamin B12, and a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin B6.
Meal suggestion – Baked salmon with celeriac chips & steamed veggies. Make this a staple at least 1-2 times per week (you can change the side dish).
Nut Butters (from phase 2-4)
Often thought of as unhealthy due to their high fat content, they should be a staple in your diet. They do contain fat but much of this comes from the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kind which can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and even increase good (HDL) cholesterol. Nut butters are also a good source of protein and contain no harmful trans fats!
Meal suggestion – for a quick and easy snack, spread 2 tbsp peanut or almond butter onto a celery stick or slices of cucumber. This is very filling and the fat content ensures you’ll stay satiated until your next meal.
Greek Yoghurt (phase 2-4)
Greek yogurt is much lower in sugar than typical yogurt varieties and higher in protein too! A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity showed that individuals on a reduced calorie diet who ate yogurt three times a day lost 61% more bodyfat than those who didn’t! As Greek yogurt also contain probiotics it can reduce bloating by promoting healthy gut bacteria and the high calcium content gives you stronger bones.
Meal suggestion – Make a tasty dessert using 100g full fat Greek yoghurt and a handful of berries. This fruity dessert will cure a sweet craving and the yoghurt will slow down the insulin response to the sugar in the fruit.
Don’t be scared by the high fat content of an avocado, this superfood is packed with predominantly heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Plus avocados contain oleic acid which improves fat levels in the body and help control diabetes. Just one avocado contains a massive 10 grams of fiber and 30% more potassium than one banana!
Meal suggestion – Enjoy guacamole by blending ½ ripe avocado, chopped spring onion, 2 chopped cherry tomatoes and half a chilli if you like some heat!